This book presents studies on the changing identities of Tatar communities in the periphery of the Turkic world, and even on another continent, far from their original homeland. Their Tatar identity is historically based on their common cultural and migrational background, Turkic community languages, minority status, and Islamic faith. With new generations growing up in intensive contact with dominant non-Tatar environments, the communities' efforts to preserve their linguistic and cultural identities are under the stress of constant change.
Traditional community values must be redefined to meet local and global challenges, while paying heed to the needs and possibilities of community members. In this volume, strategies for preserving the cultural, linguistic, and religious cohesion of the communities are described by scholars and community activists. The articles present methods used by Tatar communities in Finland, Estonia, Germany, Australia, and Saint Petersburg. They also discuss methods of teaching endangered and minority languages and promoting the development of reading skills with easy-to-read books and the writing of haiku poetry. Attention is called to new possibilities offered by the internet, as well as the role of literature and visual data for language transmission in Tatar, Noghay, Karaim and Balkar communities.
The editor of the book, Dr Sabira Ståhlberg, is a multilingual and multicultural scholar and writer who has gained international renown with her writings on many topics and her publishing activities using multimedia and online resources.
This book describes a variety of creative and innovative ways of using both traditional and modern methods to benefit language and cultural transmission in multilingual settings.
Prof. Éva Á. Csató